The state legislature on Thursday voted to raise the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour -a change that would affect about 1.5 million full-time, year-round California workers, according to a Bee review of U.S. Census data. That's about 14 percent of the state's full-time workforce.
These workers are ...
|Not just teenagers: Close to 900,000 full-time California workers over 30 earned less than $20,800 in 2011 - the equivalent of earning less than $10 an hour. Roughly 80,000 Californians over 60 earned less than $10 an hour in 2011.|
|Mostly Hispanic: Almost two-thirds of California full-time workers earning less than $10 an hour in 2011 were Hispanic, even though Hispanics make up about 40 percent of the state's population. A significant portion were agricultural workers.|
|Mostly without college experience: More than a third of California's full-time workers earning less than $10 an hour do not have a high school diploma. Another third have no college experience. Only about 10 percent have a high school degree.|
|Often barely getting by: Most low-wage workers rent their homes. Experts advise to keep rental costs below one third of income. About one-quarter spend more than half of their household income on rent. Another quarter spend more than a third of their income on rent.|
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata via the University of Minnesota Population Center.
Note: Included are Californians working at least 40 hours per week, year-round and earning less than $20,800 in 2011.